• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Mar 12, 2013
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 89 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 89
  2. Negative: 0 out of 89
  1. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    The multiplayer's a bust, but God of War: Ascension's campaign is a gloriously bloody adventure filled with exhilarating combat.
  2. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    While the single-player will leave something to be desired, you'll find more than you need to stay entertained in online matches and the challenges, levels, and weapons therein. Kratos may have a lot of miles on him, but the gladiators that take to the online colosseum are fresh and eager for blood.
  3. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    Irrespective of its title, God of War: Ascension is not the colossal step forward for Kratos that was promised – but a surprisingly refreshing online component and some of the most spectacular set-pieces in the series make the adventure worth traversing all the same.
  4. Whether multiplayer was a distraction that led to standards ever so slightly slipping in single-player is debatable. With such a strong combat system and beautiful looks, Kratos’ prequel could have eclipsed them all with a handful of key tweaks. Not quite the murdery meteoric rise we were hoping for then, but certainly not a fall from grace either.
  5. While this manic multiplayer probably isn’t enough to sell the game on its own, the deep advancement system – where you can unlock and advance armor, relics, magic items, abilities and more – is enough to wring plenty more hours out of Ascension. I actually enjoyed it more than the single-player mode and only wish there were additional modes and maps.
  6. Mar 14, 2013
    78
    The combat has been refined and is therefore as satisfying as ever, but the lack of any really memorable set-pieces – combined with its tiresome reliance on carbon copy battles against waves of exactly the same enemy – result in a game that is at times spectacular but all too often forgettable.
  7. Apr 10, 2013
    75
    Despite some incredible set-pieces, the single-player is God of War on autopilot. [May 2013, p.72]
  8. Mar 28, 2013
    75
    I can't overstate [how] quickly I became engrossed by the multiplayer.
  9. Mar 22, 2013
    75
    God Of War: Ascension delivers another strong Kratos outing, albeit one that does slip into a predictable routine a little too often. Fans will still get plenty of mileage from Ascension though and multiplayer is excellent.
  10. Mar 17, 2013
    75
    The star is the multiplayer mode, and it’s often inventive and fun to play if you’re willing to stick with it. And single-player is no slouch either, packing around eight or so hours of play, but it’s both not as polished or engaging as earlier titles, and not as exciting a story to work through — even though I don’t hate Kratos this time out.
  11. Mar 13, 2013
    75
    Multiplayer successfully delivers everything I really want from a new God of War game. If only the singleplayer were as good.
  12. Mar 8, 2013
    75
    It takes six hours for God of War: Ascension to get going, which is a long time. Fortunately the spectacular final set piece manages to save the game. Because of this crooked balance, and a long line of minor mistakes, this is the lesser of the God of War games currently available. It feels like the typical God of War-formula was saved for the multiplayer, which is surprisingly fun. The combat system is well balanced and every map has a typical God of War-surprise in place for players. This makes Ascension a Pandora's box of sorts, with the unnecessary choices on top, covering hope.
  13. Apr 1, 2013
    70
    Sadly, there are weaknesses here that are exclusively down to the new additions to the game, and this makes it tough to call Ascension a particularly great game in its own right.
  14. Apr 1, 2013
    70
    The single player is solid but doesn’t try a ton of new things, and the multiplayer is brand new but has plenty of room to grow. God of War: Ascension is a very well put together game and one made for fans of the series who want to get their Kratos fix in while we wait for the next true successor in the franchise.
  15. Mar 19, 2013
    70
    God of War: Ascension is a decent addition to the franchise. Combat remains sharp and puzzles are more intricate than ever. Unfortunately, a lack of interesting source material never shakes off the feeling that the stakes are lower here. This is easily the weakest God of War title to date, but when you consider the immense quality of the previous five games, it's perhaps to be expected.
  16. Mar 18, 2013
    70
    As a complete package, God of War Ascension has its fair shares of excitement and disappointment. There is no doubt this is a good game with fantastic-looking graphics, quality combat mechanics and a fun, if somewhat experimental, multiplayer; but the problem lies mostly with the single-player.
  17. Mar 12, 2013
    70
    The single-player campaign is uneven and, at its best, fails to match the zenith of what's gone before - a myth growing weaker with each retelling. But the punchy multiplayer broadens the game's aspirations and its appeal in a welcome way, offering a refined competitive arena.
  18. Mar 11, 2013
    70
    Ascension is a car riding in the spectacle slipstream of its predecessors, never quite able to surpass them.
  19. Mar 8, 2013
    70
    A clear example of a studio going to the well with a franchise one too many times. Although highly polished and still entertaining for fans of the franchise, Ascension lacks the soul of its predecessors as it scrapes the bottom of the Greek-mythology barrel to try to deliver on a franchise that’s clearly run dry of fresh ideas.
  20. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    Its core mechanics keep God of War: Ascension on its feet, but it doesn’t take many risks in order to impress the player. The story starts off slow and the experience is often tempered by uninteresting sequences. Aside from the great combat and the spectacular images every now and then, the game feels uninspired. Thankfully the multiplayer is surprisingly fun, which somewhat eases the pain of this slight disappointment.
  21. 70
    The fans' greatest concern - the multiplayer - is actually one of the highlights of this game. The campaign could have been better paced, though.
  22. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    ”Same mechanics, new skin” seems to be the motto for God of War: Ascension. A prequel without big flaws that lacks some extra spice. Fans of the mechanics and the character will find instant recognition but somewhat less satisfaction than the previous games.
  23. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    The multiplayer succeeds at making God of War work as a cooperative and competitive experience, but doesn’t have the depth to exist on its own. The campaign feels derivative and lacking the forceful confidence that made the series a showpiece for cinematic character-driven action games.
  24. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    Also somewhat disappointing are the newly added multiplayer features, which are held up by clever level design and strong game modes, but smacked down by uninteresting gameplay. It sounds great in theory, but in practice it turns out there's nothing less fun than being beat up by someone as powerful as Kratos.
  25. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    The campaign is simultaneously more of the same and less of the same, being marginally shorter than God of War III’s story, yet lacking that game’s ferocity and pacing. It arguably has the lowest ‘wow’ factor of the four mainline games to date, and in a series that trades on spectacle, that’s not the best sign. Yet the multiplayer component is as fresh as the single-player is familiar.
  26. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    Ascension’s biggest success is a colour-coding system that effectively lets you know when you have an opening and when to run. Unblockable attacks are signalled by a player glowing red, white denotes invincibility, and blue signals a player in recovery. It’s a simple, smart system further improved by rock-paper-scissors combat (heavy beats parry beats light beats heavy), cooldown-controlled special moves and a logical, consistent approach to hitstun. Consider our expectations defied: this is the star of the show.
  27. Mar 7, 2013
    70
    It’s not that the Spartan warrior’s step has lost its spring – it’s as lively and bloody as ever. The exhaustion comes from familiarity, that bitter breeder of contempt. Aside from a few rough patches, Ascension is a reasonably competent God of War game. But it’s undermined by an unshakable sense of déjà vu.
  28. Apr 2, 2013
    60
    Ascension isn’t as tactically gratifying as the latest Devil May Cry. The fighting has more of a splashy throwaway quality, often because it’s swallowed up by special effects or flailing character models or vast settings.
  29. Mar 21, 2013
    60
    God of War III introduced the scale and spectacle capable on modern hardware with a massive budget, but without the same wads of cash and sense of purpose Ascension feels like a step back. A safe bet that’s simply going through the motions, padding out the end of the PlayStation 3s lifespan with one last hurrah for its angriest protagonist.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 814 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 219
  1. Mar 14, 2013
    8
    While Ascension is fun, it is nowhere near to Gow3. A weaker story and less satisfying combat. On hard mode, enemies are too much making itWhile Ascension is fun, it is nowhere near to Gow3. A weaker story and less satisfying combat. On hard mode, enemies are too much making it sometimes a chore to clear out all the spawns. Full Review »
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    So i wasn't expecting too much out of this game as it wasn't getting the best "pre-release" feedback, which did have me worried. But afterSo i wasn't expecting too much out of this game as it wasn't getting the best "pre-release" feedback, which did have me worried. But after playing through the story mode, (i got an early copy) i came to realize that the ONLY thing this game does wrong, is that it has to be compared to god of war 3. Thats it. The multiplayer is original (for the most part) and fun to play, and the story mode offers a new side of kratos which i'm very happy to see. This game in my opinion though is the second best in the series, with GOW3 still being the best. Ascension was screwed right from the beginning for being a prequel about the furies... That will, no matter what, ALWAYS be less entertaining than scaling mt. Olympus in order to kill zeus an the other gods, which is the only reason i can't/won't score this game any higher than it's well deserved 9/10. Very well done *clapping* Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    This game is everything I have expected for it to be; Brutal and Spectacular! This is the most refined GOW game yet (YES EVEN BETTER THANThis game is everything I have expected for it to be; Brutal and Spectacular! This is the most refined GOW game yet (YES EVEN BETTER THAN GOW3), with great combat additions, great variaty on the scenery, nice puzzles and great pacing. I know that it is not as Epic as GOW3, but that is because of it being a prequel, so Kratos cant fight a Titan or other things like that, but still it is freaking epic and ultra fun to play. The weapons system in Ascension is better than in GOW3, because of instead getting different kinds of the same blades (that are not as useful as the original), you alter the original blades with elemental power and thus enabling you to some really crazy stuff, and also you have the ability of using weapons dropped in the stage an complement your combos with lots of great stuff, or if you dont feel like picking them up, there is a new melee system that is also really sweet. You can also use some gadgets in combat and stop time. really really sweet!!

    The grapple here is changed. Now you grab opponents with R1 instead of circle, and now you can do a lot more stuff while you have grabbed them. You can either hit the one you grabbed, throw him against other enemies, or even while grabbing him fight other dudes. The combat is freaking awesome as you may be already expecting.

    Another addition to combat is that when a monster is about to die, and you trigger the killing minigame, there are some enemies, that offer a QTE-less minigame, and now you are the one to dodge and hit him when having the chance. There are also the other minigames with QTEs, but they are done really good too, so they dont take the action out of the game

    The soundtrack is the best of any GOW game yet. Even though it has at times music featured in other GOW games, they have been changed and tweaked, making the experience even more epic.

    How the story unfolds, is really nice. You get a much deeper story experience than in any other previous GOW game. The acting the motion capture is top-notch!!!! I wont spoil the story for you so I will stop right there :D.

    The now features a new game plus option, which is really nice, because it adds even more replayability than before.

    If this game only had the single player portion it would be still the best GOW game out there, with a SP longer than GOW3!! BUT there is more in the package wohoo!!

    The multiplayer is really cool, I have not played much yet, because I also have some responsibilities, but so far it is really entertaining. I picked up ARES as the olympian I would fight for, so that I can also be some sort of Kratos in the MP lol XD. Each Olympian gives to his champions different abilities, so it is really cool to play against and with other people that have different kind of sets of moves, and looked in awe they great attacks even if they are killing you! :P The game is well balanced, and even though it is based on MP modes we have already played in other games, the fact that this is GOW, makes them really fun and visceral to play.

    As you already noticed I am having an spectacular, and fun time playing this. If you are a GOW fan, dont let you to be convinced by reviewers who have not even bothered in exploring all the things the developers have added in this game. This game is quite amazing if play and explore it just like you did the previous GOW games. And if you are not a fan, and you just want to play a great action adventure game, if you play this game, and let it flow you will have an amazing experience with it.

    For me, this is the best action/adventure/hack n slash game I have ever played. the action, the music, the story, the graphics, are amazing, and together bring to life an outstanding package you can not miss.
    Full Review »